Watching the great Mo’ne Davis throwing heat against the boys in the Little League World Series yesterday made me think back to women who have broken barriers in our sports.
This photo from Peter Read Miller is from the start of the second-ever Ironman Triathlon on Sans Souci Beach on Oahu in February of 1979.
There were 15 starters and 12 finishers that day and, second from the right, the first woman to give the Ironman a try. Her name is Lyn Lemaire and she ended up not only winning the women’s race, her 12:55:38 put her in fifth place overall and her 6:30 bike split was the second-fastest ride of the day, behind only men’s champion Tom Warren’s 6:19.
Other groundbreakers that come to mind are Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon in 1967, Joan Benoit, who won the first ever Olympic Marathon for women in 1984, and Paula Newby-Fraser, who finished 11th overall at the 1988 Ironman.
Who would you add to this list?